On the 31st March Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, introduced the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Covid-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 (the ‘Order’) permitting construction sites to operate on weekends and public holidays.

The purpose of the change is to allow construction workers to comply with social distancing rules while keeping construction projects progressing by enabling building work to be spread across more days of the week, and over a 24 hour period if necessary.

The Order includes conditions that works operating on a Saturday, Sunday or on public holidays does not involve rock breaking, rock hammering, sheet piling, pile driving or similar activities and that workers take all feasible and reasonable measures to minimise noise.

“The construction and development sectors, which make up almost 10 per cent of NSW’s economy, will be vital in keeping people in jobs and keeping investment flowing over the coming weeks and months,” Mr Stokes said.

“The extended hours allow the industry to facilitate social distancing on construction sites, while minimising the potential for lost productivity during the pandemic.”

It is expected that the changes will remain in place until the pandemic subsides or the advice of NSW Health indicates otherwise.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by the NSW treasurer in a letter addressed to the wider construction industry, noting that:

“In cases where the delivery of projects are affected by these and other matters relating to COVID-19, the NSW Government will ensure all agencies work collaboratively with contractors where issues arise to keep projects on schedule to the greatest extent possible.”

For full details of the changes you can view the Order here.


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